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Global thin film materials market is expected to gain remarkable momentum over 2021-2027. This is attributed to the rapid adoption of thin film technology in diverse fields, including CO? capture and conversion. Likewise, the use of titanium dioxide thin coating material as an emerging antibacterial packaging material for consumer products will further escalate the product demand. TiO? thin film-coated PVC substrates have excellent antibacterial ability, with the capability to kill E. coli and S. typhimurium, among other bacteria.
A thin film refers to a layer of material ranging from nanometers to micrometers in thickness. This film is deposited on a substrate material for different purposes, including the protection of the substrate, changing its optical or electrical properties, and altering its appearance for decorative purposes. Thin film coating materials also exhibit useful characteristics, such as durability and scratch-resistance, thus gaining strong adoption to improve or alter elements of the substrate performance.
Mounting deployment of PVDF thin films for miniaturized actuator and sensor applications is among the key trends bolstering the thin film materials market growth. Rising product adoption across aerospace and defense industries and high funding and subsidies to support the thin film manufacturing companies will also amplify product demand in the years ahead. For example, in February 2021, the UK-based startup Power Roll announced a funding of $8 million secured from various investors over a 6-month period. This investment will support the pilot production of the company’s proprietary flexible thin-film PV technology in 2021.
Based on material, the cadmium telluride segment is anticipated to register considerable revenue by 2027. This can be credited to the myriad benefits of CdTe thin-film solar cells such as high absorption capabilities and low manufacturing costs. However, growing awareness of toxic properties associated with CdTe solar panels and the resultant increase in concern about its disposal may create hindrance to the segmental expansion in the coming years.
On the regional front, the Europe thin film materials industry will account for a significant share over 2021-2027. Regional market growth is driven by the robust adoption of artificial lighting such as LEDs to improve crop performance, particularly in northern Europe. Also, increasing installation of PV panels in Germany, for greater energy independence, will add impetus to the demand for thin films for PV material. In 2021, the country’s rooftop installations surged by 25%, owing to the reduced solar tech prices, improved subsidy conditions, and other factors.
Major participants in the thin film materials industry include Super Conductor Materials, Inc., SENTECH Instruments GmbH, Angstrom Engineering Inc., Umicore, Materion Corporation, KAMIS, Inc., Kaneka Corporation, Victrex plc, Indium Corporation, ACI Alloys, Inc., and Dunmore Corporation (Api Group), among others. These companies are incorporating strategies such as innovative product launches and business expansions to reinforce their position across the global market.
For instance, in November 2020, Kaneka Corporation announced the development of Pixeo™ IB, a heat-resistant polyimide film. This new material launch will enable the company to expand its lineup and sales of 5G-supporting products to help digital devices reach advanced functionalities.
Worldwide efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus have had an adverse impact on the energy sectors. The significant changes or reduction in the energy demand have affected the electricity markets as well as clean energy forecasts, climate programs, and project viability in several countries. The rapid drop in renewable energy projects during the crisis has resulted in the declining adoption of solar cells and created hindrance to the growth of the thin film materials market in recent times.
However, due to the rising prevalence of work from home and remote learning, the sales of consumer electronics and appliances such as laptops, computers, and accessories have substantially increased. For instance, in India, the demand for laptops and computer surged by over 150% in the third quarter of 2020. Factors such as these are promoting deployment of advanced thin film materials to develop high-resolution displays for these consumer electronic products, which could drive industry expansion in years to come.